Improving animal welfare in hog production by adopting a smart environment-control strategy

Stéphane Godbout

Researcher, P.Eng., agr., Ph.D.

418 643-2380
ext 600

Contact Stéphane Godbout

Luc Belzile

Description

Ambient temperature is usually the only factor used to regulate hog house ventilation systems. However, other factors such as humidity and air speed can also significantly impact the animals’ well-being. There can be a significant discrepancy between the animals’ actual needs and the performance of existing ventilation systems. That’s why it’s time we rethought and improved the environment-control strategies employed in the hog production industry.

This project proposes to measure relative humidity and air speed in hog houses and integrate these parameters into the control of ventilation systems. By doing this, we will be able to determine the temperature actually experienced by the animals and then adjust the ventilation system accordingly (by manipulating air flow and the air inlet opening) to ensure their comfort. Trial tests will be carried out in two IRDA breeding rooms in a fully controlled environment that replicates commercial hog house conditions.

Objective(s)

  • Improve animal welfare in the hog production industry by adopting a new environment-control strategy.
  • Incorporate relative humidity and air speed readings taken at hog height into ventilation control systems.
  • Use tests in a controlled environment to assess the impact of this new ventilation strategy on the well-being and performance of fattening pigs.
  • Evaluate the cost and feasibility of implementing this straight-forward technique in commercial hog houses.

From 2019 to 2021

Project duration

Livestock production

Activity areas

Animal welfare

Service

The addition of certain parameters will make it possible to regulate hog house ventilation to better meet the needs of animals.

Partners

Centre de développement du porc du Québec | Maximus | Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation

This may interest you

2017-2019 • Livestock production

Field tests on the nitrogen efficiency coefficient and nitrogen release period of pelleted laying hen manure on grain corn and oat crops

This project will determine the nitrogen efficiency coefficient (EC) of pelleted laying hen manure, a source that is interesting an increasing number of growers, both organic and conventional, because of its efficiency.

Researcher: Christine Landry

Read more about the project

Christine Landry
2015-2017 • Livestock production

Managing berms and swales to increase the effectiveness of vegetative filter strips around beef cow wintering lots

This project aimed to evaluate the purification capacity of different configurations of swales planted with shrubs or perennial grasses to serve as vegetative filter strips.

Researcher: Marc-Olivier Gasser

Read more about the project

Marc-Olivier Gasser
2019-2023 • Livestock production

Developing a procedure and tools that utilize genetic markers to identify fecal contamination sources in waterways

This project will develop a procedure that relies on genetic markers to identify the animal species responsible for fecal contamination.

Researcher: Caroline Côté

Read more about the project

Caroline Côté